Meet IVF Lab Manager Katherine Scott, BA, M.Sc.
One of the best things about hanging around at the Norwalk office of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is who you bump into to chat with informally. A reminder: I do work there so I’m not simply “hanging around” because that just didn’t sound right, did it? My point is that the unplanned meetings that take place there, for me, are often as important as the formal meetings.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting Katherine Scott for the first time. Scott is our newly appointed IVF Lab Manager. I’d heard a lot about her but had not met her yet.
She described herself as not warm and fuzzy. Her words. I actually found her quite engaging and friendly. And very, very smart. I hope she wasn’t quite smart enough to realize that I didn’t understand some of what she was saying when she started talking about the technical and scientific aspects of the lab. I’m not a clinician, so I stick firmly to my belief that it is the reason I didn’t understand all of what she was saying.
So I’m actually way overdue to introduce Katherine Scott, BA, M.Sc. to you. Funny how that works though, getting to talk to her in person, there’s now more that I can share.
First thing you get from Katherine Scott is her passion. She lives and breathes the lab. Her life commitment is her work and her interest and desire shine through her words and her eyes. She talks about the advances in the labs and her excitement is palpable. I feel very lucky that she has landed here with us.
Second thing that you get from Scott is her compassion. Interesting, given that she describes herself as not warm and fuzzy. Without revealing personal information about her, let me just say that she spends free time giving back to the community in quiet, unsung ways. It’s just part of who she is and reflects what she believes in. One of her biggest concerns that she expressed yesterday, several times, is that she isn’t necessarily compassionate enough with patients. We talked quite a bit about personality and how what appeals to one person may be directly opposed to another person. We talked about maintaining personal integrity rather than people pleasing, as it is impossible to please every person that we run across in our lives. After speaking to her, I’m not at all worried about her speaking to patients. Her professionalism and care in her work are reflected very beautifully in her words. Patients will easily understand how well she does her job; caring about their care and their embryos.
We also talked about the skill sets needed. Do we need an embryologist to be warm and fuzzy? Is that a necessary skill set for a lab manager? Or is the skill set that we need and want for a lab director to have to manage and handle the scientific and clinical aspects of handling sperm, eggs and embryos?
I vote for the latter. We need the right person for the right job. There’s no doubt in my mind that Katherine Scott is a wonderful choice for a lab manager. She is smart, (very smart), she is passionate about her field of medicine/science, she is dedicated, she is devoted and she is extremely qualified.
And aren’t all of those the things we all want in a lab manager?
Keep reading, Scott will be submitting blogs regularly starting sometime in April.
Katherine Scott, it was a pleasure to meet and speak with you.
Happy weekend everyone.
IVF (in vitro fertilization) Laboratory Manager K. Scott, BA, M.Sc.
As Manager of RMACT’s Embryology Lab, Katherine is responsible for all clinical laboratory functions in RMACT’s laboratories, including embryology/IVF, andrology and endocrinology. She works with RMACT’s team of Board Certified reproductive endocrinologists to perform assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and to lead clinical research.
Katherine has experience in cryopreservation and vitrification of oocytes and embryos, as well as embryo manipulation, culture, transfer and biopsy. She also has extensive experience with male infertility, including semen analysis, cryopreservation and preparation for IUI, ICSI and IVF. She is passionate about her clinical responsibilities and how her work in the lab affects the lives of patients and parents to be.
Katherine’s affinity for math and statistics drew her to study psychology at University of Alabama. As she concluded her degree, she was recruited to provide statistical support for Nathan Treff, Ph.D., at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMANJ). Katherine’s enthusiasm, diligence, and technical acumen were quickly recognized as she moved into the Embryology laboratory and facilitated first with on-site training, then with institutional support in the pursuit of her Masters of Biochemical Sciences with an emphasis on Clinical Embryology and Andrology from Eastern Virginia Medical School. During her time in the laboratory, Katherine has enjoyed the opportunity to refine her skills, participating in more than 10,000 IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycles. Armed with this experience, Katherine began to travel, teaching vitrification to other laboratory professionals across the country. Katherine joined the RMACT team in 2013.
Katherine is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and American Board of Bioanalysts (ABB).
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Our laboratory director, at RMACT
, Dawn Kelk, PhD
, sometimes tosses and turns at night. How come? Because as tight as her protocols are in the lab, she is always concerned about clerical error, patient error or any other type of error.
I have to tell you, that is my kind of lab director. Relaxed is a really good state of being in a lot of places. The person handling my embryos doesn't need to be that relaxed. She needs to be really, really diligent. And even more than that, she needs to have procedures and protocols in place to catch anyone when for a moment they are not being diligent. That's right, the yoga teacher's into procedures and protocols. Me, I should be relaxed when I teach you, guide you through gentle poses and guided meditation. Dawn, we want diligent. Tomorrow, you will get to hear first hand from her what the procedures are that are followed, every single time.
Some of us feel like the lab is a big, black hole where our sperm and eggs disappear, someone waves a magic wand and they reappear as embryos. I think while a lot of us understand how the actual procedures work; some of it is an enigma. Lab culture, co-culture, how is an embryo graded, what does the grading mean, how are the embryo's stored. Dr. Kelk is going to start a conversation with you, tomorrow, with the basics of lag procedure. I love it because it's a great way for you to relax, to know that she is on top of how her lab is run, how things are checked, rechecked, triple checked, quadruple checked, and even then sometimes tosses and turns at night, worrying about you.
Great time to ask questions as well, as this is a conversation. We want you to feel comfortable, and yes, relaxed about how your embryos are being handled. So ask away!